I couldn’t have done it without them …

I want to say all of this today, since tomorrow I will just be too busy (and scattered). My heart is so vested in these words that I fear that if I start crying that I might not stop. So if I wrote them tomorrow that would be bad because Sunday is race day.

This will be the first full marathon I will run since I got sick. I’ll be fighting a lot of demons out there Sunday. Yes, I can run. I’ve proved that time and time again. BUT can I run THAT distance again? Do I still have what it takes? I honestly and fearfully don’t know.

But with the love, support, guidance and encouragement of my family, friends and doctors, I get to find out. It’s a miracle I have been given this chance again. And I do not take any of it for granted. It is because of these incredible souls that I am even willing to try.

It’s hard to put yourself out there like this. REAL hard. Even under the best and healthiest of circumstances it takes all you have. Being knocked down physically has only made this task more difficult and one of the biggest mental challenges I have ever faced. But I promised myself something years ago when I took a chance on running seriously again. If I do this, I won’t give it up. I wouldn’t do that to my heart again. Running matters to me. It is the part of me that propels me into a fearlessness that I have never know otherwise. And I don’t want to let it go. Not ever.

The point of all my emotional rambling (HA!) is to publicly thank each and every person who has walked through this season of life with me. The season that robbed me of so much, but gave me back even more than I could have ever imagined.

SO without further adieu … to those beautiful souls who have cheered me on, from those first steps that I took with my walker, to the start line this Sunday morning … I humbly and genuinely thank you for believing in me. I couldn’t have done all of this without all of you.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel eternally grateful!!!

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Celebrating and praying … 

I post these words every year. I simply cannot bring myself to change them. To do so would be an injustice to her. To me. And to all our family and friends who stood by us. It is our beginning together. It is a story of faith and love … and believing in miracles.

We were told when I was about 11 weeks pregnant that she did not look quite so “typical” … I didn’t care. I loved our baby. And I prayed.A few weeks later we were told that not only was our baby “not typical”, but that there was a chance I would be delivering her still born … I wanted our baby even more fiercely than I had before. And I prayed.

Several weeks later, we almost lost our baby … to which I screamed an adamant and angry “NO!” And I prayed.

A month later we were told that our baby had a “very large hole in her heart” … to which I said, “I don’t believe you.“ And I prayed.

Two months later we were told, “Your baby is small” … to which I laughed and said, “Of all the things that you have told us, this seems pretty manageable.” And I prayed.

Two weeks later, on what was supposed to be a brief doctor’s visit before we headed to our local water park, we were told that our baby was not growing, that she was too small and that she was not acting the way she should be. We were told that I would be given another amniocentesis to see if her lungs were developed. If they were, my doctor wanted to take her right away … I felt like my body was failing her. And I prayed.

My doctor gave me a drug to speed up our baby’s lung development. The results of the amniocentesis were not what we had hoped for. My doctor told us that our baby’s lungs were not developed, our baby could not breath on her own. Now we had a team of medical professionals. They hoped nothing would go wrong for the next 48 hours so that the steroid they had given me would have time to help our baby’s lungs grow … to which I said, “OK”. And I prayed.

Less than 24 hours later I had a hospital room full of people wearing blue who were running around and pumping my body full of fluids and drugs. We were told that we could no longer wait. We were told that our baby would not be breathing and that she would be very small and weak … to which I cried in her father’s arms and said, “I’m scared.” And I prayed.

Minutes later I was strapped to a table. I had refused anything that would alter my mental state. I wanted to be there for our baby. It took a long time to get her out. I was told that she was so small that she kept slipping through the doctor’s hands. I kept screaming, “Is she out?!?!” And I prayed.

Then, I heard a cry … to which I thought, “That is a loud cry for a baby who is supposed to be weak, small and not breathing.” And I prayed.

A few minutes later our baby was brought over to me, warmly swaddled, pink as could be, breathing on her own and with no hole in her heart. (Sure, she has some extra chromosomes, but who cares about that?) And when I saw her I thought, “You are my miracle and I love you.” And then, I praised God for our beautiful daughter.

Seven years ago today, through God’s amazing grace, Reese Lindsey Grace was born by emergency cesarean section. She was 6 weeks early. She weighed 2lbs 15oz and was 15 ½ inches long. My world has not been quite the same since … and I would have it no other way.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate a miracle … and always remember to pray!!!

  

I thought I was in the clear …

For years I have presented with a unique problem at my dermatology appointment. What? Oddly, it’s not skin related! It’s my blood pressure.

I cannot tell you how many times I have had to follow up with my regular physician to have my blood pressure rechecked after a dermatology appointment. Seriously, it skyrockets. This doesn’t happen at any other doctor appointment I have. And trust me, I have some unpleasant appointments I need to got to! It completely confuses everyone. Except me.

About 10 years ago I was coming up with a lot of skin damage. Not cancerous, just a lot of dry spots that they didn’t want to lead to anything worse later. So I was getting TONS of freezings twice a year at my appointments. And quite honestly it scared the poo out of me. Those freezings hurt like heck too! Especially when you are having 10 or more at a time. And I don’t know about you guys, but I am really not a fan of standing in my undies pointing out all my skin flaws to anyone. Those particular years when a handsome young doctor was “filling in,” made it even more horrific. So I totally get WHY my blood pressure goes up!

Anyway, I am happy to say that over the past several years my need for freezings has become almost nonexistent. And I guess this contributed to my new found lack of anxiety this morning at my now ONLY once yearly appointment. Reflected by … PERFECT BLOOD PRESSURE! I was so incredibly happy! I was finally relaxing and settling in to the idea of freezings not being a routine thing anymore. GO ME!

Aaaaaaand, then my doctor came in.

She did my skin check and found that I needed five freezings. OY.

Next year, I’ll just go ahead and schedule two appointments. One with my dermatologist and the other to have my blood pressure rechecked. Again. BIG SIGH.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you thought you were in the clear!!!

I wish we could have gotten a pass on this one …

OK, so this one is a DOOZEY.
Friday night, after a trip to the ER, my oldest daughter, Sidney, was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW). It means she has an extra electrical pathway in her heart that causes her heart to race. 

Um … that seems like an understatement.

Sidney has some heart racing over the past 2 years (ish) that was dismissed as anxiety. Well, in November when she was at school, she got sick and went to the doctor. She was told to take sinus medications and was also told that if she experienced any heart racing that she was to stop taking them. Unfortunately she did experience some episodes, about 5. I knew all of this, but what I didn’t know was that the episodes had become much stronger. Sadly, last Friday I became witness to one of the new episodes … OH MY GOSH IT WAS HORRIBLE! Not only was her heart racing but it looked like her heart was going to beat right out of her chest. Her heart rate went up to 172 (normal for her is 60-100)! It was absolutely terrifying.

After several hours of monitoring and testing she was officially diagnosed and it was recommend that she have an ablation. An ablation is a procedure where they will thread a catheter into her heart, find the extra pathway and destroy with radio frequency. Thankfully the procedure is very successful in correcting the problem and she will never have to deal with another episode again.

So, there you have it. Not fun. Not pretty. Real life drama with pain and worry. No LaLa-ing around this one! I am certainly not one to crumble under pressure like this. I feel like I can handle quite a bit when it comes to dealing with medial issues. And I am comforted that my education carries some weight in the decision making process when dealing with other medical professionals. But seriously. I really think it would have been nice to have dodged this bullet. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be more grateful that the outcome is going to be a good one. But I do not want this “on our plate”. I do not want Sid to have to go through any of this. It just makes me so sad.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you wish you got a pass!!!

Celebrating a miracle …

I post these words every year. I can’t convince myself to change them. To do so would be an injustice to her. To me. To our family. It is our beginning together. It is the story of faith and love … and believing in miracles.

We were told when I was about 11 weeks pregnant that she did not look quite so “typical” … I didn’t care. I loved our baby. And I prayed.A few weeks later we were told, that not only was our baby “not typical”, but there was a chance I would be delivering a still born … I wanted our baby even more fiercely than I had before. And I prayed.

Several weeks later we almost lost our baby … To which I said an adamant and angry “NO!” And I prayed.

A month later we were told that our baby had a “very large hole in her heart” … To which I said, “I don’t believe you.“ And I prayed.

Two months later we were told, “Your baby is small” … To which I laughed and said, “Of all the things that you have told us, this seems pretty manageable.” And I prayed.

Two weeks later, on what was supposed to be a brief doctor’s visit before we headed to our local water park, we were told that our baby was not growing, that she was too small and that she was not acting the way she should be. We were told that I would be given another amniocentesis to see if her lungs were developed. If they were, my doctor wanted to take her right away … I felt like my body was failing her. And I prayed.

My doctor gave me a drug to speed up our baby’s lung development. The results of the amniocentesis were not good. My doctor told us that our baby’s lungs were not developed, our baby could not breath on her own. Now we had a team of medical professionals. They hoped nothing would go wrong for the next 48 hours so that the steroid they had given me would have enough time to help our baby’s lungs grow … To which I said, “OK”. And I prayed.

Less than 24 hours later I had a hospital room full of people wearing blue who were running around and pumping my body full of fluids and drugs. We were told that we could no longer wait. We were told that our baby wouldn’t be breathing and that she would be very small and weak … To which I cried in her father’s arms and said, “I’m scared.” And I prayed.

Minutes later I was strapped to a table. I had refused anything that would alter my mental state. I wanted to be there for our baby. It took a long time to get her out. I was told that she was so small she kept slipping through the doctor’s hands. I kept screaming, “Is she out?!?!” And I prayed.

Then, I heard a cry … To which I thought, “That is loud cry for a baby who is supposed to be weak, small and not breathing.” And I prayed.

A few minutes later our baby was brought over to me, warmly swaddled, pink as can be, breathing on her own and with no hole in her heart. (Sure, she has some extra chromosomes, but who cares about that?) And when I saw her I thought, “You are my miracle and I love you.” And then, I praised God for our beautiful daughter.

Six years ago today, through God’s awesome grace, Reese Lindsey Grace was born by emergency cesarean section. She weighed 2lbs 15oz and was 15 ½ inches long. My world has not been quite the same since, … and I would have it no other way.

Happy Birthday my beautiful Ree Ree! You are my joy and my miracle! Mama loves you and all of your EXTRA parts!!!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate a miracle … and always remember to pray!!!

  

Out of character …

Yesterday I thought I had a turn for the better in this whole nasty sick week of mine. I was wrong. Very. 

Last night I coughed for about two hours. It was terrible. My head felt like it was going to burst every time I coughed and I was dizzy. And breathing during this whole episode was no easy feat! So I finally decided it was time to go to the doctor. And it’s a good thing I did because I have an ear infection and the beginning of bronchitis. I just KNEW that all my symptoms weren’t an exaggerated mess in my head … OK fine, this time.

I will be the first to admit that I panic if I think anything is wrong with me. I can dream up some pretty awful “worst case scenarios” in my head. Some may call this hypochondriacal … I would just like to think that it’s part of my qwerky charm. I also don’t like taking meds. They scare me. All those chemicals just freak me the HECK out. But I have to say that today when they offered me antibiotics for my ear and other meds for my unrelenting cough I was like a drug seeking fool. I wanted ALL of it. No really. All. Of. It.

I don’t think I could have thanked the doctor more for helping me. She was sweet too. She knew of my chemical phobias and she took the time to assure me that the medications I was being prescribed had been around a long time and that they were very safe. I was very grateful she was so kind but with as miserable as I was I probably would have volunteered for a trial drug study, where the side effects were know to cause GIANT permanent purple skin spots, if I thought it could make me feel better. 

Goodness. It is truly amazing how much you change when you realize how important breathing is!

Well, I hope you all had a day where you didn’t act totally out of character!!!